THE Gold Coast has once again been named Queensland’s top tourist town after winning more accolades than any other region at the Queensland Tourism Awards gala in Broadbeach.
Gold Coast tourism operators won 17 awards, demonstrating that the Sunshine State’s famous beachside playground still holds enormous appeal to visitors.
The Coast outstripped perennial hot rival, the Whitsundays, and last year’s overall winner, Brisbane, by bagging two gold, five silver and seven bronze gongs, along with two individual and one highly commended awards.
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The sold-out annual awards night, held at The Star, celebrated the dedicated individuals and successful operators of Queensland’s $25 billion tourism industry.
A total of 87 awards, including 26 gold, 26 silver, 26 bronze, seven highly commended and two individual awards across 28 categories, as well as the RACQ People’s Choice award, were presented in front of more than 900 guests on the night.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind said the 34th Queensland Tourism Awards had attracted more than 170 entries across all award categories.
“This year’s entrants across 28 business, event and individual categories reflect the diverse and dynamic range of tourism operators helping Queensland’s tourism industry flourish,” he said.
“Queensland’s tourism industry continues to demonstrate just how invaluable its contribution is to the state’s economy, contributing $25 billion or 7.8 per cent of the state’s gross product, and employing 217,000 people.
“International visitor numbers for Queensland have seen record growth in the 12 months to June 2018, increasing 5.5 per cent. Some 2.7 million international visitors generated $5.7 billion in overnight expenditure.
“While the industry continues to see growth in visitor numbers and expenditure, Queensland must strive to remain competitive in the global market.”
The Star Entertainment Group Managing Director Queensland Geoff Hogg said they were thrilled to host the awards at the Gold Coast, the first time in nine years.
“As Major Event Partner, we are proud to host our industry’s ‘night of nights’ right here at The Star Gold Coast, where we have been part of the local community for more than 30 years,” Mr Hogg said.
“This is a golden age for tourism in Queensland and I extend my congratulations to this year’s nominees and winners for their outstanding achievements in raising the domestic and global reputation of our state.
“It’s vital that we continue to work together to develop more tourism attractions and guest experiences that will encourage longer stays and repeat visitation to this stunning part of the world we call home.”
The Queensland Tourism Awards are judged by a panel of industry experts who volunteer their time to assess written submissions and travel throughout Queensland to experience the amenities and services of nominated businesses.
Queensland’s Gold Award winners will gain automatic entry into the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, which will be held in Tasmania on 1 March 2019.
Next year the Queensland Tourism Awards will be held at Novotel Twin Waters Resort on the Sunshine Coast on 8 November.